As a truck driver, your career starts with a learner’s permit. Before you can qualify for a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you need to have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).
What Is A CLP?
The CLP lets drivers legally practice driving under a CDL instructor. The CLP is obtained after you pass a written exam for it and complete the primary training program.
The written test consists of three parts: general knowledge, air brakes and combination vehicles. Each section has a different number of questions:
- General knowledge questions: 50 questions
- Air Brakes: 25 questions
- Combination Vehicles: 20 questions
Preparing For The Test:
You can start the preparation by obtaining a CDL manual. There are online manuals available on the internet. But before you start studying, make sure that you have a valid prep manual according to your state’s DMV requirements.
What Do You Need To Study?
Preparing for an exam can be pretty daunting, especially if you have to cover a lot of material. CDL manuals pack a lot of information, but you need to know what’s essential for you and what you can skip.
Only focus on study sections that pertain to a class A CDL or if you’re planning on getting some endorsements, focus on those. Leave out the passenger transporting and bus safety topics.
How To Study For The CLP?
Now that you know what you need to study, you need to prepare for the test. Here are some ways in which you can prepare for your CLP test:
- Rewrite: Jot down whatever information you’ve studied, as this helps your brain retain that information. Taking notes also helps. So, grab a pencil and get started.
- Read aloud: Go through the CDL manual and read each section out loud. Hearing something helps your brain in storing that information.
- Form a study group: Sometimes you can improve your learning skills by studying in the form of groups. So, you can gather with one or two fellows and carry out a discussion on different sections to prepare better.
Take Practice Tests:
These tests will help you know how much you’ve retained from your study sessions. You can use your practice results to have an idea of which topics need more preparation.
Different online resources help you with various aspects of your preparation. These include:
- Driving Exam: This is a platform where you can get practice tests by state.
- Union Test Prep: You can get access to all kinds of study guides and flashcards.
- Test Guide: General knowledge and endorsement practice tests are available here.
Along with your CLP exam, you can take special endorsement tests as well. These endorsements help you obtain special permits for hauling cargo and other materials. You can study the CDL tanker section for a Prime endorsement and pass the test when you sit for your CLP exam.